After having some success after jumping into the deep end of the pool, I decided to try making one of my favorites....Pickled Okra. I found a base recipe I liked and did a few tweeks. Smelled good but has a wait time like smoked cheese (dang it!!) of 4-8 weeks so I'll have to update on taste later on down the road. Here's the recipe I used:
2.75 lbs. of fresh okra (use smaller ones 2"-3", they're more tender)
1 Qt. white vinegar
3 Cups water
6 Tbsp. pickling salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
16 small cloves fresh garlic (2 each jar)
8 small fresh chili peppers (1 each jar)
8 sprigs fresh dill (1 each jar)
1/2 Cup pickling spice
1/8 tsp. Ball pickle crisp each jar
8 pint jars (wide-mouth) with bands & lids
Add vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil.
To each sterilized jar add, divided up equally, the pickling spice, garlic, peppers, dill and pickle crisp. Pack in tightly, fresh whole okra that's been washed and caps trimmed close but left on. Alternate cap up/cap down to fit more in. Leave about 3/4" between okra caps and jar rim.
Pour hot brine over okra, covering okra by about 1/4" and leaving about 1/2" head space. Slide a clean head space tool (or similar item like a plastic chopstick) along inside jar wall to release any air bubbles. Wipe jar rim with damp cloth to remove any particles and achieve a good seal. Place hot lid on jar and screw on band fingertip tight. Process in water bath for 10 minutes then remove to towels on counter-top to cool and seal. After jars have cooled, 12-24 hours, check for vacuum seal and store in a cool, dry place for 4-8 weeks so they will mellow. Store opened jars in fridge.
Well, that's about it. Sorry if this was too long or detailed. I try to be detailed enough for noobs like myself but not so much for the old hands at this.
Here's a couple pics of the finished product and thanks for looking. Comments and/or suggestions are always welcome.